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Mystras, Greece

on Wed, 12/20/2017 - 13:29
Mystras on a Greece Untour
Greece is one of our most beloved Untours, largely because of the great diversity of things to do right in and around Nafplio. But there is nothing like hitting the open road and enjoying the countryside as you make your way to some of the farther flung corners of the Peloponnese.
 
On the outer edges of our day trip suggestions lies one of my favorite destinations, the historic ruins of Byzantium’s second capital, Mystras.

 
In the latter days of the Byzantine Empire, much of the Peloponnese was under Byzantine rule, and Mystras was a major seat of power—second in size and power only to
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Andalusia, Spain, Close to Home

on Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:47
Apartment stays in Andalusia

We decided it would be fun to drive around in the local country and explore the villages of Rute and Iznajar. Juan, our wonderful landlord, had furnished us with grapes from the vine in the courtyard. It was time to cut the vines back and he saved us some of the most delicious, sweet white grapes. We took them on every picnic! Armed with our maps and Garmin, we set off for Iznajar, driving the most spectacular scenery roads along the way.

They were harvesting some olives at one point, and we learned these were for green olives; they were not yet ripe, when all are picked and crushed for olive oil. We entered the village of Iznajar after a fair amount of driving and drove on some of the steepest grades I've ever been on! Wow, was the view from the top spectacular! The town is on an embalse, or reservoir of the Genil River. The plaza by the church of Santiago is the place to get the best views, but there are charming walks all over town.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Untours Foundation Gift Guide: Creative Presents, Soulful Giving

on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:45
Untours travel gift guide

It’s that time of year again. Whether we relish or dread it, many of us are gathering gifts to give for Christmas and Hanukkah.

This year, consider skipping the mall and giving something with purpose. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas and the values behind them. The Untours Foundation supports lots of worthwhile businesses, and we have many B Corp friends who share our values. We have ideas for kids, pets, hosting gifts, stocking stuffers, and experiences.

Andrea Szyper's picture

Scottish Highlands Q&A: Duncan on Heritage, Food & Skulduggery

on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:50
Scottish Highland hosted vacations
We chose Duncan MacKellar to be the on-site staff for our new Scottish Highland Untour for many reasons. He's already been a huge help to our first guests in the region this fall. Meet the newest addition to Untours' global family of friendly on-the-ground hosting staff.
 
Tell us briefly about what you’ve done before your work for Untours?
Professionally, I trained as an engineer and my two brothers and I ran our own engineering business in the Highlands of Scotland for 25 years, servicing the offshore oil and gas Industry.
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Paris, in the Footsteps of Grandmere

on Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:11
Personal journey on a Paris Untour

Elizabeth Pontarolo recently joined us for Untours in Prague and Paris. Her time in Paris was a personal journey of sorts, in pursuit of her late grandmother's haunts. Here she shares some images and thoughts from her time in the City of Light. A highlight was finding the apartment building that her Grandmere lived in when she was a baby and young child

Andrea Szyper's picture

Ventures Cruise Report: Rhine Getaway on Viking

on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:53
Dee on a Viking cruise with Untours Ventures

Dee McConnell, Director of Untours Ventures, offers a review of her experience on a Viking river cruise of the Rhine. She also offers advice: Pace yourself since there is so much to do and see. Take the time to grab a seat on the sundeck with a glass of wine and watch the world go by. Also, bring binoculars. They’re helpful for getting a better look at all of the castles you will pass as your cruise the Rhine.

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Bellinzona, A Swiss City With Italian Flair

on Tue, 11/07/2017 - 11:29
Swiss apartment stays in Ticino

Ticino is a region of Switzerland that surprises and delights travelers, as those who have taken our Swiss Ticino Untour will tell you. And the town of Bellinzona is the surprise of Ticino!

At the crossroads of the valleys leading to Italy from the Alps, Bellinzona is a natural sentinel and crossroads of trade that was coveted by the north and the south. It is the capital of Ticino, and the canton’s richest historical town, with no fewer than three castles, at least one palace, several noteworthy churches, and relatively few tourists.

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Meet Hundertwasser's Whimsical Vienna

on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:36
There are so many reasons to love the arts and architecture in Vienna! The city has had a reputation for interesting architecture since the completion of the Ring in 1865. 
 
The Hundertwasser House is a great place to start! Innovative Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser has enraged and delighted an equal number of Viennese with the city-subsidized construction of a low-income apartment complex on the corner of Löwengasse and Kegelgasse. 
 
His building (photographed above) was completed in 1985. It was designed to bring city dwellers closer to nature.
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Home Cooking from Tuscany: A Recipe for Gnocchi with 4 Cheese Sauce

on Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:00
Cooking classes in Tuscany

Tuscany is a wonderland for those who live to eat and believe in vino veritas. So the Tuscany Wine and Food Untour was a natural. Here Donella, Serenella and their family, who will lead one of the events, share one of their favorite recipes. It’s a a hearty and satisfying dinner for a cool, dark winter night: Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi.

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Vickie's London: 9 Tips (and 14 websites) to Help You Make the Most of London

on Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:33
London tips, apps, and websites for travel

We have been traveling with Untours for 26 years. Hard to believe it has been that long! Our most recent Untour was two weeks in London and one in Scotland. If you are interested, I maintained a daily blog with photos for our friends at web.wordpress.com. Researching and preparing for a trip is part of the anticipatory fun for me. There were some things I did before leaving that I found to be invaluable during our trip and wanted to share them with fellow Untourists.

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